experience the tasteof north-west Azerbaijan
The villages of the far north-western corner of Azerbaijan, encompassing the regions of Gakh, Zagatala and Balaken, are blessed with verdant gardens brimming with hazelnuts and persimmons. So abundant are they that the harvests of both are celebrated annually: each autumn the Hazelnut Festival takes place in Zagatala while Balaken hosts the Persimmon Festival. The mountainous areas of Gakh, meanwhile, are known for their use of dried meat. One dish is particularly famous: surhullu, a hearty meal made of pieces of dough topped with meat that’s been left out to dry over winter. A great place to try it is in the region’s highest village – Saribash. Other culinary features of the north-west are the use of roses to make jams and rose water and the wonderful wild honey produced in the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains.